Scoped Sharps 1874 Buffalo Rifle

This 1874 Sharps rifle is a great example of a been-there, done-that authentic western buffalo rifle. It was shipped from Sharps in 1879 with double set triggers, open sights, and a medium-weight .45 caliber barrel, but rebuilt by a Cheyenne gunsmith with a much heavier barrel in .40-100 caliber, and fitted with a Rice telescopic sight in a free-floating mount. While this was built just too late to have been used in the heyday of the slaughter of the wild buffalo, it is a fine example of the rifle configuration used by serious hunters and target shooters alike at that time.


  1. I need to watch Quigley Down Under again, and read the story of Adobe Walls Great video, wish I could afford this piece of history.

  2. There’re .45-100 Sharps Straight 2 7/8″ (11.4x73R) and .45-100 Ballard (11.4x72R) – and .40-90 Sharps Straight 3 1/4″ (10.2x82R) and .40-90 Sharps Necked (10x67R).
    But what’s .40-100?

    • “But what’s .40-100?”
      According to
      “(…)The .40-90 and .40-100 (Necked) were the same cartridge with different powder charges and bullets.(…).40-90 factory loads drove a 370 grain lead bullet at a MV of 1475 fps(…)[.40-100] used a lighter 190 grain hollow point bullet in front of extra powder to achieve a higher MV at the expense of penetration on large game.”

  3. I feel sorry for the bison. The problem with commercial hunting is depopulation to the point where intended game is no longer sustainable. But back to the rifle. Could this falling-block action work with smokeless powder or express cartridges? And just how much brick wall would be needed to stop .40-100 from 500 yards away?

    • Yes. This design is still in production, and some use black powder, some use smokeless. As long as prudent loads are utilized, smokeless is fine.

  4. Buffalo leather.

    One product of the buffalo trade that not many know about is the use of buffalo leather. In old photos of period factories, often you’ll see a overhead rotating shaft which powers various machines via long belts. Those belts were often buffalo leather; it had good qualities for such a purpose.

  5. Wish I’d had the money several years ago. One of my LGS had what was claimed to be an early bench rest rifle available for around 7 grand. Built in 1880’s, 45-70 falling block, original scope and and a 36″ 2 1/2″ round Bull barrel. Whole thing went 60+ lbs. It was described

  6. Pewabic Pottery here in Detroit was built in 1907. It’s still in business, using all period equipment. As recently as ~10 years ago, the main power belt in the production workshop was still made of buffalo hide.

  7. I myself do not care much about shotguns, but this 4-barrel is cool as feck.

    I must disregard my personal opinion for shotguns and compliment Ian for making high quality and informative video.

    Some would say that I am PRO Ian. 🙂

  8. ‘Twas in the town of Sioux City,
    In the summer of ’73,
    When a man by the name of Krego
    Came steppin’ up to me,
    “How do you do, young feller,
    And how would you like to go
    And spend one summer pleasantly
    On the range of the buffalo?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.